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BARBARY PIRATES, WARS ON.
The regiments which fought across North Africa in World War II were not the first Americans to fight in Tunis, Algeria, Morocco, for in 1801 we sent our then infant navy there to make war on the pirates of the Barbary Coast who had been destroying shipping 'for many years, American included, and France and Britain together had not been able to stop them. If we succeeded where the latter had failed it was largely owing to the ingenuity of one man, William Eaton, Consul at Tunis, who from out of Egypt and with a small group of natives infiltrated from behind the coast. It was Eaton who sent home the famous message : "Send some cash and a few marines." The Marine Corps was bom in that war.
The majority of heroes and leaders in the war, which was neither short nor easy, were Masons: Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge (probably), Commodore Edward Preble, Commodore Isaac Chauncey, Commodore Thomas MacDonough, etc. Decatur's utterance, quoted countless times, did not say that his country was never wrong or that he would support it in wrongdoing ; he said, ''My country-may it ever be right, but, right or wrong, my country " ;-the utterance plainly saying that his country might be in the wrong. Like his father before him, who had belonged to Veritas Lodge, No. 16, Maryland, Decatur became a Mason early, in St. John's Lodge, Newport, R. I., in 1799. William Eaton was raised in North Star Lodge, Manchester, Vermont, in 1792.
BASKETT BIBLE, THE.
What Bible did the Masons use before 1717? Prior to 1611 it is almost certain that the majority of them used the famous Geneva Bible, published in 1560. It was the first issue of the Book to cut the text into chapters and numbered verses ; its cost was low ; it was the Bible of the Reformation. Because in the Book of Genesis it printed the line "made themselves breeches" instead of "made themselves aprons" it was everywhere popularly called The Breeches Bible. The Authorized, or King James, Version was first printed in 1611, in Black Letter, large folio, with 1400 pages. Because of a typographical error Ruth, III, verse 15, was printed with a "he " instead of a "she," and for that reason it was everywhere called The ''He'' Bible. The title page was a eopper plate, sumptuously designed, semi-architectural in conception, with a symbolic scene representing the Scheme of Redemption across the top; Moses and the High Priest in panels at either side of the mid-page ; and in the lower corner two figures representing the writers of the Old and the New Testament, with a symbolic picture of the phoenix between them. At the extreme top were the HebrewLettersJHWH; immediately beneath it a dove.
Copies of the now very rare first edition, if in good condition, sell for 53,000 to 55,000. In the Second Issue this Version contained another famous misprint, Matthew XXVI, 36, where "Jesus'' is printed aa "Judas."
(Printers sometimes made these typographical errors out of malice. The "Wicked Bible" is the most notorious example ; in it the "not" wac purposely omitted from certain of the Ten Commandments, for which Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the King's Printers, were haled into Star Chamber, were fined L300 by Archbishop Laud, and the edition of 1000 copies confiscated.) For a century the Authorized Bible was no doubt used by Masons as it was by everybody else, almost to the exclusion of any other version.
In 1717, the year in which the first Grand Lodge was constituted, John Baskett, an Oxford printer, published an edition of his own, which came to be named after him, although it was dubbed The Vinegar Bible because in Luke XX the word "vineyard" was misprinted "vinegar." The title page, and for the first time in any Bible, consisted of a prospect of buildings. For this reason, and also perhaps because it had been published in 1717, or for both, it became popular among Masons, in America and Australia as well aa in England; more often than any other it is mentioned in the Inventories which were incorporated in old Lodge Minutes.
NOTE. The Baskett should not be confused with the Baskerville Bible. In 1750 John Baskerville became a designer of type, a rival to the famous Caslon - whose type faces are standard today. In 1758 Baskerville was elected printer to Cambridge University. In 1763 he produced his edition of the Bible, called after his name, and at a cost of some 510,000. It was not appreciated at the time, and did not sell well, but has since become one of the classics of type design. Baskerville died in 1775. Any Lodge possessing a copy of his Edition of 1763 may treasure it as highly as a Baskett first edition even though the latter is older by 46 years.
Ameriean Masons have a fondness for Harold Bayley's two books which English Masons might find it difficult to explain; at least so it would be guessed from comparing the circulation of them here with their circulation there. Perhaps it is because he has let a fresh, new light into Masonic symbols, and done so with no pseudo-occultistic obscuratism (a thing for which American Masons have no stomach---'even if it is published in A.Q. C.) ; perhaps it is because with short, bold brush strokes he makes intelligible to us Americans what doubtless already is familiar to Europeans.
He writes about the Albigensians and the Huguenots, who carried on a sort of Protestant underground movement for many years, in regions where any deviation from strict Roman Catholic orthodoxy was examined by the Inquisition and punishable by burning. These men were, many of them, makers of paper, which they produced in little water-driven mills, in far-off places among the hills. They had modes of recognition, passwords, tokens, secret words, ete., by which they sent messages here and there. After they discovered how to lay in watermarks in the sheets of paper they sent out to the cities they turned the marks into symbols, which would "be understanded" by their friends and sympathizers and would thus help to keep certain ideas alive. I t is about these fratemities, or half-fratemities, their secrets and their symbols, that Mr. Bayley writes in A New Light on the Renaissance; J. M. Dent & Co.; London; and The Lost Language of symbolism; J. B. Lippincott; New York; 1913. The latter has many references to Freemasonry in chapters on Scarching for the Lost, Theological Ladder, King Solomon and Pillars, All-Seeing Eye, Tree of Life, Clasped Hands, ete. (It can be remembered in connection with these books that Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, architect of the first Grand Lodge, was a Huguenot refugee. ) Brother Frederick Foster's essay on "The Due Guard" which he contributed to The Treasury of Masonic Thought (compiled by George M. Martin and John W. Callaghan; David Winter & Son; Dundee; 1924), was based on Bayley's works.
In our Twentieth Century America, the word "industry" denotes manufacturing and factories, classified as heavy industry and light industry ; and connotes machines and factory workers. When the Beehive is said to be an emblem of industry the word is not used in that sense---indeed, is used with an almost opposite meaning-for it is used in the sense of centuries ago, which was the true sense.
Industry was the employment of a very large number of men, tens of thousands in many instances, on one undertaking at one place and at the same time, and they might or might not use machinery. It was the method by which in the ages before heavy machinery vast building enterprises were accomplished, some of which have so long mystified modern men: the building of the pyramids, of the ancient Egyptian canals, of the hanging gardens of Babylon, of the Ziggurats, of vast Hindu temples, of the Chinese Great Wall and Grand canal of the Mayas' City of Chichen-Itza, etc. the same method by which in World War II the Burma and Ledo roads were constructed as well as great airfields in the remote hills of China; and the method by which from Caesar's time until modern times the Dutch have built their hundreds of miles of dykes. The Beehive is the perfect emblem, or typical instance of the power of industry, beceause what no one bee'or succession of separate bees could accomplish is easy where hundreds of them work together at one task at one time.
The Medieval Freemasons did not study and think about ¨he same subjects that architects and builders now except in fundamentals, did not secure the elements of a building ready-made from factories, had no steam or electric or magnetic tools to use; chemistry and physics were forbidden sciences, and could be studied by the initiate only in secret or under a heavy camouflage of symbolism. They had two great subjects: materials and men. A modern architect knows far more about materials than the Medieval builder because he has universities, literature, laboratories, and factories to draw on ; but he knows far less about men -- indeed, he knows almost nothing about men.
Wher a modern builder looks to machines as the means to accomplish his results, the Medieval builder who had no power-driven machines had to look to men. For this reason the Medieval builder knew far more about work than his modern counterpart because work is nothing other than a man making use of himself as a means to get something made or produced or accomplished. Where a modern foreman thinks of himself as a supervisor of a building full of machines the Medieval foreman thought of himself as a Master of workmen. By the same token a workman had to know himself, instead of a machine, because he was his own machine. Skill is the expert use of one's self.
It was for such reasons that Medieval Freemasons thought much about and had a wide knowledge of the forms of work. There are some fifty-two of these.
Industry itself is one of them, the most massive and most dramatic, but not the most important. Where a man makes everything by himself from the raw materials to the finished product, is another. Where a number of men work in a line at the same bench and where the first does one thing to the "job, " the second does another, and so on until the "job" is completed by the last man, so that it is the job and not the men who move, is another form of work. Where one man completes one thing, another, perhaps in another place, completes another, and so on, and where finally a man combines a number of completed things to make one thing, is another form of work; ete., ete.
The generalorganization of a Lodge is based on the principle of forms of work; so are the stations and places of officers. Though as an emblem of the form of work called industry the Beehive symbolizes only one in Particular it at the same time represents the system of forms of work, is, as it were, an ensample of them; and from it a sufficiently wellinformed thinker could think out the system of Masonic Philosophy. In our Craft the whole of fraternalism is nothing other than the fellowship required by the forms of work, because the majority of them require men to work together in association, in stations and places, and therefore in co-operation.
It is strange that in its present-day stage of development the so-called science of economics should concern itself solely with such subjects as wages, machines, money, transportation because these are but incidentals and accidentals. Work is the topic proper to economics ; and the forms of work are its proper subject-matter. Any scholar or thinker who chances to be a Mason could find in his own Fraternity a starting point for a new economics, as fresh and revolutionary and revealing as was the work of Copernieus in astronomy, of Newton in physics, of Darwin in biology. A beehive itself is a trifle, and scarcely worth ten minutes of thought; what it stands for is one of the largest and most important subjects in the world, and up until now one of the least understood.
BEGEMANN, GEORG E. W.
Georg Emil Wilhelm Begemann was born in 1843; died in 1914 in Berlin, where he had lived since 1895. After having been made a Mason in Rostock, Mecklenburg, he was instantly attracted to the study of the Old Charges.
From 1888 until his removal to Berlin he was Provincial Grand Master, the Grand National Lodge of Berlin. From 1887 until his death he was a member of the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076, contributed much to Ars Quatuor Coroiatoruni, and was among the most learned of specialists in Masonic archeology and the study of the text of the Old Charges.
He published Vorgeschichte und Aufänge der Freimaurerei in Ireland, in 1911; a book of similar title on Scotland, in 1914; his principal work was Aufänge der Freimaurerei in England; Vol. I, in 1909 ; Vol. II, in 1910. This latter work was to have been translated and published by Quatuor Coronati Lodge, with Bro. Lionel Vibert, Secretary, as translator-in-chief, but was estopped by the latter's death; it is on the market in the United States in German.
German Freemasonry was begun under the patronage of the nobility and members of the upper brackets of the aristocracy, and had its source in French Masonry ; and therefore departed in the main from many Ancient Landmarks, so that oftentimes the Craft Degrees were under jurisdiction of High Grades; High Grades and Rites proliferated; Rites not Masonic in any sense were suffered to attach themselves to Freemasonry; and racial and religious discriminations were allowed. Begemann was one of the greatest in a line of German Masonic scholars whose work was aimed at restoring the German Craft to the original design. (See articles by and about Begemann in A,Q,C. ; especially the paper by Douglas Knoop and G. P. Jones in 1941.)
BENT, GOVERNOR CHARLES.
Charles Bent was born at Charlestown, Va., in 1797, studied medicine, graduated from West Point. After resigning from the army he entered business in St. Louis. In 1828 he and his brother William went west, erected a fort (or stockaded headquarters) near what is now Las Animas which in time was to become famous from one end of the Santa Fe trail to the other as Bent's Fort. After he had formed a partnership with Col.Ceran St. Vrain (also a Mason) the firm of Bent & St. Vrain became nationally known as second in size and influenee only to Bro. John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Co. at a time when beaver skins were used as money in the whole of the West. He married Maria of the famous Spanish family of Jaramillo, whose sister Josefa afterwards married General Kit Carson.
After New Mexico was formed into a Territory of the United States, Bent was appointed the first Governor, but in 1847 was assassinated in his home at Taos by a mob of Indians and Mexicans. This was part of a plot to drive Americans out of the Territory which had been schemed in Mexico City and was locally instigated by a corrupt and criminal priest at Taos named Fra Martinez. Bent was (along with the famous Senator Benton) a founding member of Missouri Lodge, No. 1, St. Louis, in 1821. A Lodge formed at Taos by the Grand Lodge of Missouri in 1860 and named Bent Lodge, No. 204, is now No. 42 on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico. (See House Executive Document, No. 60, Thirtieth Congress, entitled "Occupation of Mexican Territory"; and article by Bro. F. T. Cheetham in the The Builder; 1923; p. 358. Gould's History of Freemasonry; VI; Seribner's; New York; page 36.)
BLACK MONKS AND BUILDERS.
In the center of the little Italian mountainous country where Virgil once lived and Horace had his farm, and near where in other times Aquino was built, home of Juvenal and of Thomas (St. Thomas Aquinas), there stood in early Roman times a temple of Apollo and Venus. St. Benedict (480 - 543) founded on the site of it the first monastery in Europe, a small house which he called San Germano, and later Mt. Cassino, which, after having been more than once rebuilt, was in World War II bombed into rubble by Allied planes after the Germans had tumed it into a fortress. This early monastery, which Benedict, a man of hard sense, founded in 529, he turned into a Monastic Order, called the Benedictines or Black Monks (from color of their habit), the first Monastic Order founded on the Continent; other Orders, some of them its daughters, were to follow it, the Carthusians, the Clusiacs, the Franciscans (half monastic), but none was ever to rival it in strength and stability.
After they had become established in centers as far away as England, and had become possessed of property, the Benedictines had many Abbeys built, and other Monastic structures. A number of these are famous buildings; a few were masterpieces of Gothic.
A legend grew up long afterwards that the Benedictines had themselves been Europe's first architects, and a few Masons even began to believe that it was they who had fathered Medieval Masonry, among the latter being Bro. Ossian Lang, who gave the theory as much support as he could find (in his treatises on Eleventh Century School for Builders, and his Black Monks).
Benedict's rule was founded on work. Each member was assigned a form of work, and was expected to give his daily time to it ; and each one was required to read at least one book a year. But there is no evidence anywhere to prove that they were ever architects or even plain builders; even the work rule fell in abeyance after the early honeymoon period. In his massive Art and.the Reformation, G. G. Coulton sweeps together every scrap of written records into a chapter, and shows that the monks were not architects, and that they hired laymen to come in from the outside to cultivate their fields and gardens, and even to work in the kitchens ; and not many of them ever managed to read his one book a year, or learned to read. If they ever had any connection with Freemasonry it has escaped detection; one set of Fabric Rolls, probably belonging to York, shows that the Freemasons there expressly stipulated that no monks from the nearby Benedictine houses were to work with them. (There are abundant bibliographics in the Cambridge Medieval History. See also Medieval Italy, by H. B. Cotterill ;London ; George C. Harrap ; 1915 ; and Renaissance of the Twelfth. Century, by F. L. Haskins.)
BLAVATSKY, H. P.
Subsequently to the publication of the brief article on page 138 Bro. Joseph H. Fussell, secretary of the Theosophieal Society at Point Loma, Calif., contributed to The New Age of January, 1915, page 29, an article which clears up once and for all any questions as to claims made for the founder of the Theosophical Society of having been a Mason. She received from John Yarker, unsolicited, a certificate making her a_ member of the so-called Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry (not connected with Free and Accepted Masonry) but, as she clearly stated, made no elaim to any membership in any regular Lodge. The "Masonry of the Orient," to which she referred in a published letter, and which appears to refer to some form of self-styled Freemasonry indigenous to India, is one of many questions for Craft historicans to clear up. The wide-ranging and indefatigable Yarker is another subject in the same category ; for while he was a regular and loyal Mason, a contributor to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, and guilty of no clandestinism, his writings have left a trail of confusion behind them because of his penchant for identifying Freemasonry with any form of occultism, symbolism, or esotericism which resembled it. The Theosophical movement has never in any of its sects or branches been recognized by or identified with any regular Masonic Body.
Chaplain Couden of the House of Representatives of the United States for a long period of years was blind, and yet was a Mason.
W. W. Drake, Kileen, Texas, became blind during his Mastership; he was reelected for a seeond term.
Charles F. Forshaw, Doncaster, England, who died in 1800, was for a number of years widely known as a Masonic musician. In his Notes on the Ceremony of Installation, page 52, Henry Sadler gives a sketch of the most famous of blind Masons, George Aarons, Master of Joppa Lodge, No. 1827, and of Lodge of Israel. He was a ritualist taught by Peter Gilkes, and for nearly twenty years was Lecture Master in the leading Lodges of Instruction. More remarkable still is Lux in Tenebris Lodge, on Shaftsbury Avenue, London, which is a Lodge for blind Masons. The Craft in England has always acted on the principle that when the Craft was transformed from Operative to Speculative the Physical Qualifications were transformed with it.
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